New York, 12 November 2010
Statement by H.E. Mr. Ivan Barbalić, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations
at the UN Security Council Debate
on Security Council resolutions 1160 (1998), 1199 (1998), 1203 (1998), 1239 (1999)
and 1244 (1999)
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Administration
Mission in Kosovo (S/2010/562)
We would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (S/2010/562). Also, we express our appreciation to Mr. Lamberto Zannier, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for his briefing on the recent developments in Kosovo, and we commend the staff of the United Nations Mission for their hard work and dedication.
We welcome the participation in today’s meeting of Mr. Vuk Jeremić, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, as well as of Mrs. Vlora Çitaku.
Bosnia and Herzegovina commends the activities of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), operating within the framework of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999), aimed at implementing its mandate of maintaining peace, security, stability and respect for human rights in Kosovo. Furthermore, we appreciate UNMIK’s contribution to the reconciliation process, facilitation of constructive dialogue and regional cooperation, as well as its focus on mediation between the communities and its support to minority communities.
We also have taken positive note that the security situation in Kosovo has remained relatively calm during the reporting period, despite some incidents, mainly in northern Kosovo, as stated in the Secretary-General’s report. Developments such as the International Court of Justice advisory opinion triggered particular tensions in an already sensitive and politically delicate atmosphere.
As for the Court’s advisory opinion, we welcome General Assembly resolution 64/298, adopted on 9 September 2010. Bosnia and Herzegovina extended its full support to the adoption of that resolution, sponsored by Serbia and the 27 member States of the European Union. It calls for the initiation of a process of dialogue between the parties, a dialogue that would help promote cooperation and achieve progress on the path to the European Union.
We consider that the efforts to improve inter-community dialogue and confidence-building among the parties are of particular importance in creating an environment conducive to sustainable return.
Nonetheless, the number of voluntary minority returns during the reporting period remains low. We commend UNMIK and other United Nations agencies, such as UNICEF and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, for their efforts to defuse tensions and draw attention to the common needs of returnees and internally displaced persons and encourage them to continue their work.
Having in mind how important strengthening the rule of law is, we stress the significance and welcome the activities of UNMIK, as well as those of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), operating within the status-neutral framework of the United Nations to that end. We also support the existing practice of cooperation and coordination between UNMIK, EULEX, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and NATO — the latter present through the Kosovo Force troops — and express our hope that that practice will continue.
Furthermore, in light of our strong commitment and support to the work of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), we find the reported strong cooperation between EULEX and the ICTY encouraging.
In conclusion, we would like to reiterate that stability and security in Kosovo are important for achieving lasting peace and prosperity in our region.
We also believe that the international community should continue to play an important role in supporting the aspirations of the region’s countries with regard to their integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. For their part, the countries of the region should cooperate fully with the international community if those goals are to be achieved.
I cannot conclude without emphasizing that promoting good relations and cooperation with neighbouring countries is among the top priorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s foreign policy.